***I’m sharing this post to be authentic…life is not always the perfect posed pictures on FB*** (Originally posted on FB on June 24, 2019)
I’ve just started week 3, of a 4-week European journey…Though I felt fine in Zurich and Rome, a cough I’d had for a few weeks since before I had left, got worse by the time I got to Jerusalem. Trusting my gut, I had a doctor come to my hotel and he confirmed traces of pneumonia, but bronchitis for sure. Medication was delivered to my room 30 minutes after he left. 3 days later, still not better, I made my way to a pharmacy in the Old City at Jaffa Gate, and he called me in more antibiotics. That took me through all my 12 days in Israel.
Some coughing, but finally feeling better, I was thrilled to be taking my daughters to Paris where we were also meeting my mom. Our first night was great, loving our amazing Airbnb and our sunset cruise on the Seine.
The next morning I woke up with a rash on my arms that progressively got worse throughout the day. Last night I woke up at 3:30am, feeling my lips and eyes swollen. After consideration, I trusted my gut and got in an Uber at 4:15am.
The first hospital I went to had no overnight ER, unless you were having a baby and turned me away. My super kind – and thank-god-he-was-English-speaking driver helped me find another hospital, and even waited outside to make sure I was admitted.
They took me in, gave me an IV an antihistamine and steroid, then I sat in a triage waiting room for 5 hours. My condition worsened before I got better. My rash spread and my face got more swollen. I was the person in the ER everyone was staring at, not the guy who looked like he just got beat up and had a blood-stained shirt, pants 1/2 on, one shoe and a crooked foot, all the while French cartoons were playing in the background.
As I wasn’t improving quickly enough, I was given a nebulizer treatment to lower the swelling in my face. And then I sat some more.
After almost 6 hours, they released me and though far from looking or feeling normal, I found a wonderful pharmacist who not only filled my prescriptions, but suggested probiotics, pain meds for my skin since it feels like it’s burning, and some gentle soap and lotion. Oh and we bonded over kids; her son his having his Bar Mitzvah in 2 months.
I got back to my flat, after having had only 2 hours sleep, while my mom and my daughters are on our Eiffel Tower tour. All I wanted was to experience Paris with my girls and now they’re there without me.
But…I’m not angry. I’m disappointed, but not really sad…
It just is what it is.
While this SUCKS, I’m accepting that sometimes things don’t go as planned. To fight against that only will cause me more suffering (and inflammation, and more rash!!). To accept this turn of events does not mean I like it. It just means I have equanimity around it. It just is.
Would I rather be riding the elevator to the top right now? And posing for cute photos?? You better damn know that’s what I’d rather be doing.
But, right now, I’m grateful. I’m grateful that so many strangers were so kind and helpful to me today, even the cafe owner who made me a cappuccino next door to where I filled my prescription. He smiled at me and asked if I’d be back tomorrow, even though my face was still half swollen and I’m sure I looked awful. All the nurses, the 2 doctors, my Uber driver…There are good people in the world.
And I’m grateful that my mom, Sandra is here to help take care of me and enjoy this experience in Paris with her granddaughters; may this be a memory they will hold dear forever. I’m grateful to John who stayed connected with me for 5 hours while sitting in my reclining chair at the hospital and did all he could to nurture me when I felt alone. I’m grateful for my daughters Ari and Kami for being resilient and continuing to check up on me and love me so compassionately.
And I think most of all I’m grateful for having a practice that always helps me when life throws the curve balls. Without my mindfulness practice I’d be sitting here screaming, crying, being woe-is-me, feeling FOMO, anger, irritation and annoyance. I’d be ruminating on WHY ME? WHY NOW? Sure I had a few moments of all that, but mostly I just did what I could and breathed through it. And I’m sending my body healing thoughts.